SIAS Launches Singapore’s Inaugural Corporate Governance Week

Date: September 14, 2010

First week-long initiative with a focus on Corporate Governance to be held in Singapore;

Key highlights include:-

  • A Corporate Support Towards Excellence in Corporate Governance
  • A two-day Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference featuring prominent industry speakers from the region
  • The Investors’ Choice Awards
  • A series of Executive Workshops on Corporate Governance
  • A Seminar for Catalist-listed companies

Singapore, September 14, 2010 – Securities Investors Association (Singapore) (“SIAS”), a strong advocate of corporate transparency and progressive industry practices aimed at protecting shareholder interests, together with Strategic Partner: Singapore Management University, the Supporting Exchange: Singapore Exchange, Main Sponsor: Boardroom Limited and its Supporting Partners, will be initiating Singapore’s first Corporate Governance Week (“CG Week 2010”) from October 4 to 8, 2010.

A series of programmes has been planned for this inaugural CG Week 2010. These include the 11th Investor’s Choice Awards, a two-day Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference, four Executive Workshops and a seminar for Catalist companies held over the five-day period:-

October 4th to 5th – 2nd Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference
Evening of October 5th – 11th Investors’ Choice Awards
October 6th – Executive Workshops
October 8th – Catalist Seminar

Mr David Gerald, President and CEO of SIAS commented, “Good corporate governance is the cornerstone to uphold the integrity of corporations and financial institutions. More importantly, through this initiative, we aim to highlight the message that good corporate governance practices are central to the health and stability of our financial markets and economy as a whole.”

CG Week 2010 is organised by SIAS in strategic partnership with the Sim Kee Boon Institute For Financial Economic – Singapore Management University, and supported by Singapore Exchange with the following partners:

  • CPA Australia;
  • Deloitte;
  • Ernst & Young;
  • KPMG;
  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers;
  • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies;
  • Kirby McInerney LLP;
  • Rodyk & Davidson LLP;
  • Wong Partnership LLP.

The CG Week 2010 is endorsed by:

  • The Law Society of Singapore;
  • The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore (IIA);
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA);
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore (ICPAS);
  • Singapore Institute of Directors (SID);
  • CFA Singapore;
  • The Singapore Association of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (SAICSA);
  • The Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME);
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW);
  • Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS).

The official print media is The Business Times and Citigate Dewe Rogerson i.MAGE is the official IR consultancy.

CG Week 2010 has also received support from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) whose Head of Corporate Affairs Division, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, Mr Grant Kirkpatrick said: “Regulators are now much more interested in how boards work and are less inclined to talk only to CEOs and CFOs. There are also international steps to improve incentives. Investors (also) have a key role in promoting good corporate governance.”

Support Towards Excellence in Corporate Governance

To signify the importance of corporate governance to the integrity of the global capital market, SIAS is launching another “first” at this CG Week 2010: calling on listed companies to publicly showcase their support for corporate governance.

“We invite companies to demonstrate their commitment to uphold the highest standards of corporate governance in a Statement of Support published in The Business Times,” said Mr Gerald. Participating companies will be requested to donate S$2,000 to help defray cost of organising the CG Week and the advertisement cost.

The Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference 2010

One of the key events of CG Week 2010 is the Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference, to be held on October 4th and 5th at Pan Pacific Hotel Singapore. During the conference, corporate governance experts and professionals from around the region will be speaking along the theme of “Challenges in Asia’s Capital Markets” and leading discussions on trends, developments and best practices in corporate governance.

Participants at this conference will be the first to be briefed on the OECD findings on Corporate Governance and the Global Financial Crisis by Dr Piman Limpaphayom, Head, Department of Finance, Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, and member of OECD’s Asia Corporate Governance Roundtable. They will also be the first to know the results of the 2010 Annual Corporate Governance survey which will be unveiled by Mr Jamie Allen, founding Secretary-General, Asian Corporate Governance Association (“ACGA”).

The development, implications and challenges from corporate governance practices in China and Japan will be presented by Prof T J Wong, Dean, Faculty of Business Administration, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Japan-based celebrity fund manager, Dr Scott Callon, Chairman of Ichigo Group Holdings Co Ltd respectively. Mr Steven Cole, President to Western Australia Division, Australian Institute of Company Directors will share ”Lessons from Australian Boardrooms”.

Mr Daniel Hume, Attorney at Law, Kirby Mclnerney LLP, New York will present US securities law and the remedies available to investors in US-listed companies, while Mr Mark Berman, Founder and CEO of CompliGlobe Ltd, will discuss the credit crisis and the changing legislative landscape. All these lead to a dramatic change in the liability landscape for directors which Mr Shasi Gangadharan, SVP, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies will discuss.

On the CSR front, Prof Stephen Cheung, Dean, School of Business at the Hong Kong Baptist University will outline its development and implications for investors, while Mr Alex Malley, CEO, CPA Australia will present accounting for sustainability.

Another key highlight are the four panel discussions on Climate Change and CSR, Asia’s Developments after the global financial crisis, the role of auditors in corporate governance and their effectiveness in implementing proper checks and balances. Also interesting is the panel discussion by Asian regulators, leading industry experts and professionals on the changing corporate governance landscape after the global financial crisis.

SIAS is also pleased to inform that Prof Walter Woon, Singapore’s immediate past Attorney-General and the Dean of the country’s newly-established Singapore Institute of Legal Education, will deliver a significant closing address.

“This is a rare opportunity to have leading corporate governance experts and industry professionals gather in one place to discuss current challenges in the field and share expertise and new insights pertaining to corporate governance, especially in the context of Asia,” commented Mr Gerald.

The 11th Investors’ Choice Awards

Following the conference, the 11th Investor’s Choice Awards will be held at Raffles City Convention Center on the evening of October 5th. The event will honour companies and individuals who have contributed to the advancement of greater corporate transparencies. Key Awards include:

– Singapore Corporate Governance Award;
– Most Transparent Company Award;
– Financial Journalist of the Year Award; and
– Best Broker Award.

Mr Gerald commented, “These Awards recognise both companies and individuals who exemplify corporate governance. We hope that this will encourage more industry players to embrace the ideal and further raise the bar.”

Executive Workshops by the Big Four

Executive Workshops will be held on October 6, 2010, day three of CG Week 2010 at Marina Mandarin Hotel. Representatives from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PriceWaterhouseCoopers will share their insights on current issues in the corporate governance sphere. Workshop topics include:

– The Investors’ Third Line of Defence – Audit Committee and Auditors;
– Renumeration Matters – An Investors Guide;
– The Role and Responsibilities of Independent Directors and Board Chairman in Corporate Singapore; and
– Board Composition and Corporate Performance – An Investor’s Perspective.

Catalist Seminar

On October 8, 2010, the final day of CG Week 2010, industry experts from SGX, Wong Partnership and Rodyk & Davidson will come together and lead discussions on the specifics of challenges faced by companies listed on the SGX-Catalist. An area seldom addressed, this half-day workshop entitled “Demystifying Corporate Governance of Catalist Companies”, aims to answer questions that SMEs, Catalist listed companies and potential companies intending to list on Catalist may have. The workshop will address the importance of disclosure requirements for Catalist companies and the need to increase visibility.




Notes to Editor:

Quotes from Supporting Partners:

Singapore Exchange

Mr Magnus Bocker, CEO of Singapore Exchange says, “Corporate transparency and accountability breed trust in shareholders and investors, and trust is the core foundation of any capital market. I commend SIAS for its relentless efforts in pursuing a strong corporate governance culture among listed companies in Singapore. SIAS has raised the bar in promoting corporate governance standards, which Singapore Exchange is pleased to be a supporting partner.”

Boardroom Limited

Mr Kim Teo, CEO, Boardroom Limited says, “Corporate governance will continue to play an increasingly prominent role in investors’ and other stakeholders’ decision-making processes going forward. In supporting the Inaugural Corporate Governance Week as Main Sponsor, we aim to provide our clients with an opportunity to hear and learn from industry leaders in this area. The insights gained on best practices will hopefully help them enhance the value of their businesses.”

CPA Australia

Mr Mun Cheong Fai, General Manager – Singapore, CPA Australia says, “The conference serves as an excellent platform for all stakeholders to set new trends in the realm of corporate governance.

“CPA Australia is proud to share a bond with the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), the largest organised investor lobby group in Asia, in promoting the values of good corporate governance and transparency practices that underpin business resilience and economic growth. It also demonstrates our organisation’s continued commitment in playing an integral role to support and drive significant contributions in education and financial literacy.”

Deloitte Singapore

Mr Philip Yuen, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Singapore says, “In an OECD study on the global financial crisis published in February 2009, it was concluded that the financial crisis can be, to an important extent, attributed to failures and weaknesses in corporate governance arrangements which did not serve their purpose to safeguard against excessive risk taking. This underscores the importance of having corporate governance firmly embedded within an organisation’s culture and for it to be operating effectively. Board oversight, risk management and internal controls have to be integrated and operating as one.

“There is an urgent need for organisations to put into place better governance and disclosure practices if they are currently not doing so. It is therefore very good that SIAS has organised Corporate Governance Week, which has the strong support of a number of prominent organisations that are actively promoting good corporate governance. With renowned experts from around the world, including OECD, who will be sharing on the various aspects of corporate governance, this conference will indeed be an insightful and meaningful one.”

Ernst and Young

Mr Rangarajan Ekambaram, Advisory Partner, Ernst & Young says: “The importance of corporate governance doesn’t diminish even as economies recover from the recent global financial crisis. The crisis has demonstrated the far-reaching crippling impact that poor governance can have on capital markets and investor confidence, and underscores how valuable a strategic asset is good corporate governance for companies. This week-long program is thus opportune and useful in bringing the various stakeholders together to discuss about the importance of corporate governance encompassing all the financial and non-financial aspects and its role in shaping economies to perform better. Corporate leaders, professional bodies, practitioners, academics, regulators and investors all have a role to play in driving higher standards of corporate governance. The richer and more discussions we have around corporate governance, the more robust an understanding of the issues and ways to overcome them in practice, the more the market will be enriched as a whole.”


Mr Ng Siew Quan, Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers says, “Corporate Governance week comes at a very opportune time. As we emerge from the global financial crisis, Directors and especially non-executive directors are slowly feeling the heat of regulators tightening governance requirements and institutional investors exercising greater scrutiny. In the current round of international governance reviews, we are seeing considerable focus on Board responsibilities and director independence. The effectiveness of board committees and in particular the Nomination, Audit and Risk Management Committees, are especially under the microscope at the moment.”


Mr Irving Low, Head of Governance, Risk & Compliance Practice, KPMG says, “Congratulations to SIAS in organising and hosting the Corporate Governance Week here in Singapore. Consistent with SIAS vision of championing investor rights, and creating and promoting awareness Corporate Governance in Singapore, KPMG LLP Singapore is honoured to be partnering SIAS in this annual event. This is testimony also to Singapore’s desire to improve Corporate Governance, where Singapore has been ranked consistently high, by independent agencies in relation to the adoption of Corporate Governance best practices over the past few years.”

Kirby McInerney LLP

Mr. Teo Guan Hock, Business Development, Asia, Kirby McInerney LLP says, “At Kirby McInerney LLP, we combine over 60 years of legal expertise with innovative institutional monitoring technology to protect our clients from having to pay the price for risks that they did not undertake willingly. We fully support and congratulate SIAS’s timely initiative to organise the Corporate Governance Week.”

Rodyk & Davidson LLP

Mr S. Sivanesan, Partner at Rodyk & Davidson LLP says, “Corporate Governance is an essential and vital pillar in any capital market. It provides the framework within which companies and management must operate businesses, and the comfort and assurance to investors that their funds are utilised for legally valid, proper and accountable purposes. Asia’s capital markets face tough challenges given the global impact of the recent financial crisis. Asian markets must strive to continuously improve and abide by good corporate governance practices and all the more so as the world is looking at Asian markets and Asia must now take the lead. Rodyk is proud to be a supporting sponsor of this conference as we strongly believe in effective corporate governance at all levels of the capital markets.”

Wong Partnership LLP

Ms Rachel Eng, Managing Partner, WongPartnership LLP says, “We are delighted to be a Supporting Partner of Corporate Governance Week. We have an experienced corporate governance team, which consists of Partners who specialise in providing advice on a wide range of corporate governance, board and compliance matters, and we hope that delegates will benefit from our partners’ experience which will be shared during the conference.”

Chubb Group of Insurance Companies

”Chubb advocates a balanced approach to corporate governance. On one hand, the need for greater transparency and increased accountability of management and directors is unmistakable. On the other hand, regulatory frameworks should not discourage the most eligible and qualified from serving, as a CEO or as a director, out of fear of potential liability.

“We are delighted to participate in the upcoming Asian Investors’ Corporate Governance Conference and congratulate SIAS on the launch of Corporate Governance Week.”



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